Illinois PRC testifies at Chicago soda tax hearings

A soda tax in Chicago would not hurt the local economy, the director of the Illinois Prevention Research Center (PRC) told the Chicago City Council.

Dr. Lisa M. Powell, a health economist who directs the Illinois PRC, testified in a September 10 public hearing held by the City Council’s Health Committee over a proposal for a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.

Dr. Powell has conducted research on the impact of such taxes on state-level employment. In 2014, she and her co-authors reported on this work, finding that soda taxes “do not have a negative impact on state-level employment, and industry claims of regional job losses are overstated and may mislead lawmakers and constituents.”

Their findings were published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Dr. Powell’s beverage employment research was discussed in news coverage of these hearings by Chicago Public Media. Soda tax revenue projections and related research by Dr. Powell and colleagues in the Bridging the Gap research project was reported by Chicago Tonight.

Dr. Powell is professor and director of the Division of Health Policy and Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Learn more about her research.

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Source of the image of empty soda bottles is Microsoft. Used with permission.